Who's The Daddy: Graduation ceremonies are for the proud parents

Some people think that graduation ceremonies are a well deserved lap of honour for students after three years of graft/parties/apprenticeship in life-threatening alcoholism.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 3:03 pm

Let me tell you how wrong they are. Sure, the students get to wear a cap and gown for a bit and say their goodbyes to their friends/housemates/absolute social hand grenades they would cross the street to avoid.But let’s be honest here, graduation day is all about the mums and dads who backed their kids all the way, emotionally and financially, and want to see some official validation for their unflinching loyalty. Yes it is, don’t kid yourself otherwise.Daughter #1’s graduation at the University of Liverpool last week was a suitably grand affair featuring a cast of thousands at the awe-inspiring Philharmonic. And what a venue that is. Last time we were there back in 2017 Kraftwerk were on. Hands down the best gig I’ve ever seen.Because of the early start and reports earlier that week of massive queues to pick up hired caps and gowns (by 7am it was about 200 deep, we were in it for an hour) we stayed over in a handy Airbnb and got an Uber with a driver who looked about nine - yep, we’re down with the kids.The ceremony itself took a while, the speeches, the organ music and the 470-plus law graduates who doffed their cap at one of the high-ups on their way across the stage. And we clapped every last one of them. And shot a video of Daughter #1 when her moment came.Then it was pictures, pictures, pictures until Daughter #1 had her fill of the cap and gown, returned it and went off for some lunch with us, all without even a backwards glance. One chapter over, onto the next. No room for sentiment, because of Covid and lecturers’ strikes the vast majority of students on her course never got to know each other.Then after lunch Daughter #1 put her leftovers in a doggy bag “that’s tea sorted” and off she went on the train back to her new flat, job and life in Manchester.Back in the day, when yours truly got his degree, after the ceremony I did what many English lit graduates did in the recession-hit early 90s, clocked on for my shift at McDonald’s that night. Maybe that’s where the cruel and quite unhelpful joke 30 years ago came from, “What do you say to an English graduate? Big Mac and fries please.” Yeah, the truth hurt in 1991.

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Graduation day is all about the mums and dads.